Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday Ten

1. Some of the gorgeous sunrise views I've had in the last couple of weeks on my morning run.

2. Mr. Helen and one of his coworkers/friends retired on June 30th.  His other coworkers put on a very nice buffet potluck with an "Aloha" theme.  They made the guys wear grass skirts and coconut/seashell bras.  It was so funny.  They gave them certificates of service and shadow boxes with butcher's knives in them.  A very nice send off.  Mr. Helen worked federal civil service for 32 years with 26 years being at this last place.

3. Speaking of retirement, I might be able to get used to him being retired while I still work.  The Saturday after he retired, I had a training appointment at 8 a.m., followed by having a demo for my part-time job.  I wrote a list of all the housework I wanted to get done that day and while I was at work, he texted me to say he'd done all of it except the dusting - he doesn't like to dust!  Wow!  Plus he has cooked dinner several times over the last 10 days.  The really funny thing though is how chatty he is when I get home.  He talks non-stop, which my ears are not used to.  I finally realized it's because he's now alone most of the day.  Let's just say we are adjusting!

4. Long time readers will remember this guy, even though you might not recognize him.  That's our nephew, who will be a freshman in high school this September!  We had him overnight a couple weeks ago and he and Mr. Helen went fishing.  This past week he flew by himself to Minnesota to meet up with some family to go to a cabin.  I sent this photo to his mom and she said, "that's one happy boy right there - a steak and a root beer, two of his favorite things."

5. We finally got a night on the patio, with the patio being fully set up.  Seems like it took forever this year what with our vacation happening at the beginning of June. My happy place.

6. First Caprese salad of the season.  I make it with homemade pesto rather than plain basil leaves.  I have two pots of basil growing on the patio specifically for pesto. This salad screams summer to me!

7. Another thing that screams summer?  When my day lilies bloom.  This year, one flower bloomed all by itself for a whole day before other flowers joined in.

8. I spent Independence Day alone at the beach because Mr. Helen wouldn't listen to me that we needed to go early.  (We have passes on both our cars and he generally moseys down there whenever he feels like it to meet me.) I left my house at 8:30 for what should have been a 15 minute drive and didn't sit down on the beach until 9:45.  He attempted to come at 10:00 but sat for an hour in traffic without moving so he turned around and went home. Turns out people had arrived and lined up at the beach gates at 5 in the morning and they estimated there were 13,000+ visitors that day - a record-setting crowd.  My whole city only has 28,000 people! Honestly, it really was too busy and I am sure next year we will make other plans.

9. When we were in St. Martin, Mr. Helen bought me a beautiful 25th anniversary ring.  He actually told me I could upgrade the 3-stone ring we bought on our 10th anniversary (I'd never had an engagement ring) but I told him no, it had too much sentimental value for me and that I'd rather choose something else. Unfortunately while there my fingers swelled and I couldn't get my 3-stone ring off.  I ended up using the dental floss trick to get it off and then couldn't wear any rings for over a week because my finger was so traumatized.  Mr. Helen and the jeweler we dealt with were very worried about me getting the ring on but I assured them that my finger would calm down once home and back into a normal routine.  And it did!  I love both these rings (and the memories that go with them) so much.

10. I had my follow up with the trainer/owner of the facility where I've been doing personal training.  I lost 2.5 lbs. of fat and gained 3 lbs. of muscle, which of course means my weight stayed the same.  He asked me what my goals were and I told him honestly that I want to lose weight, or in his lingo, lose fat.  I also said I know strength training people hate when that's said, but that I feel fairly fit - I mean there's always room for improvement - but what I really want is to be smaller.  To my surprise he actually responded positively. He also admitted he was quite surprised that I didn't lose more weight but was beginning to understand how stubborn my metabolism (damaged by hypothyroidism and age) actually is.  But then he stated that as long as I was willing to work with him and try different things, his goal is to get me to my goal and he wanted to continue to check in with me.  So, I've decided to do a one year membership to see if the things he wants to try with me food and exercise wise will get me results.  I also told him that if I'm in the same place in a year, that I am right now, I'd definitely have to re-evaluate my membership.  He agreed that was fair and honestly, I can't ask for more or better customer service than I'm getting!


  1. Love the Tuesday Ten! Too funny about Mr. Helen being chatty--I've had other friends whose husbands have retired and have had similar experiences. Your daylily is gorgeous! I want to get some more exotic colorful daylilies. Caprese salad--yumm! I haven't had any this year yet because I haven't gone to the Farmer's Market to get some good tomatoes. That gym owner definitely gives good customer service. And you are teaching him a valuable lesson--people are not all cut out the same way.

    1. I wish I could cut you off some of my day lilies - I think I'm going to have to chop them at some point as they've reproduced like crazy.

  2. 1. Such gorgeous sunrises! We get some pink skies, but nothing like what you see.
    2. As a Hawaiian I approve of this party theme. ;) Big congrats to Mr. Helen on his retirement!
    3. How nice that he's taking on some of the housekeeping! And I get that Chatty Cathy thing; Jeff does the same thing when he's home. No further comment on that. ;)
    4. Your nephew has grown up! That means you've been blogging for a long time - he was just a little boy back in the day!
    5. I think what I appreciate most about your patio is the lack of tree debris on it. And the lights, but mostly how clean it looks.
    6. Love the pesto vs plain basil idea!
    7. That is such a pretty color of daylily - we don't have that one here.
    8. Except for my (stupid) teenage years, I avoid the beach like the plague on holidays because PEOPLE.
    9. Your new ring is just beautiful and the two rings look so pretty together! I've never heard of the dental floss trick; I rely on Windex to remove rings (and toe rings).
    10. A year?! Way to commit!! I love that your trainer is taking such an interest in you and it will be great to see if he is a match for your metabolism.

    1. The pink sunrises are my favorite but they have to be a particular kind of pink otherwise they wash out when you take a photo, it's weird. You should google the dental floss trick on You Tube it's fascinating. Windex is what jewelers recommend you use and believe me they sprayed my finger 100 times hahaha!

    2. OMG just googled the dental floss trick - ouch!

  3. I love everything about this post - from the sunsets, to the patio being set up. I wondered how you would adjust to his retirement with him being home all the time - I know it will be an adjustment, but love that he pitched in with the chores! Jacob will never wash dishes, but he'll do anything else I'll ask :D

    Love the new ring - I never had an engagement ring either, and Tony promised to get me one on our 15th wedding anniversary - we didn't make it though. I keep thinking I want to make a piece of jewelry out of my ring and his ring, but nothing comes to mind - any suggestions??!!


    1. I think the idea of combining yours and Tony's rings to make a new piece of jewelery is excellent. Maybe they could be melted down and made into new earrings or a pendant. Any good jeweler should be able to assist. You're in Chicago for work so you should have lots of choices!

  4. Those sunrises are gorgeous! As is your ring. Enjoy your summer!

  5. So much positive in this post I don't even know where to begin and I'm sure I'll forget something!

    What a delight to be blessed with the gorgeous sunrises. Congrats to the Mister on his retirement ! Your ring is gorgeous!!!!!


  6. Gorgeous ring! Yay! Funny how Mr. Helen is so chatty. Retirement is definitely something that takes time to get used to. It's like when one person is unemployed (which I guess they are when retired).